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Gypsy

[jip-see] /ˈdʒɪp si/
noun, plural Gypsies.
1.
a member of a nomadic, Caucasoid people of generally swarthy complexion, who migrated originally from India, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America.
2.
Romany; the language of the Gypsies.
3.
(lowercase) a person held to resemble a gypsy, especially in physical characteristics or in a traditionally ascribed freedom or inclination to move from place to place.
4.
(lowercase) Informal. gypsy cab.
5.
(lowercase) Informal. an independent, usually nonunion trucker, hauler, operator, etc.
6.
(lowercase) Slang. a chorus dancer, especially in the Broadway theater.
7.
(lowercase) gyp1 (def 4).
adjective
8.
of or pertaining to the Gypsies.
9.
(lowercase) Informal. working independently or without a license:
gypsy truckers.
Also, especially British, Gipsy, gipsy.
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; back formation of gipcyan, aphetic variant of Egyptian, from a belief that Gypsies came originally from Egypt
Related forms
gypsydom, noun
gypsyesque, gypsyish, gypsylike, gypseian, adjective
gypsyhood, noun
gypsyism, noun
non-Gypsy, noun, plural non-Gypsies.

gyp1

[jip] /dʒɪp/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), gypped, gypping.
1.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. to defraud or rob by some sharp practice; swindle; cheat.
noun
2.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a swindle or fraud.
3.
Also, gypper
[jip-er] /ˈdʒɪp ər/ (Show IPA),
gypster. Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a swindler or cheat.
4.
Also called gypsy. an owner of racehorses who also acts as trainer and jockey.
Also, gip.
Origin
1885-90, Americanism; back formation from Gypsy
Usage note
Gyp in the meanings “to swindle” or “a person who swindles” is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by Gypsies, since it stereotypes them as swindlers. However, gyp has apparently never been used as a deliberate ethnic slur, and many people are unaware that it is derived from Gypsy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gypsies
  • He mistakenly finds his way into the court of miracles, the secret lair of the gypsies.
British Dictionary definitions for gypsies

gyp1

/dʒɪp/
verb gyps, gypping, gypped, gips, gipping, gipped
1.
(transitive) to swindle, cheat, or defraud
noun
2.
an act of cheating
3.
a person who gyps
Word Origin
C18: back formation from Gypsy

gyp2

/dʒɪp/
noun
1.
(Brit & NZ, slang) severe pain; torture: his arthritis gave him gyp
Word Origin
C19: probably a contraction of gee up!; see gee1

gyp3

/dʒɪp/
noun
1.
a college servant at the universities of Cambridge and Durham Compare scout1 (sense 5)
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from Gypsy, or from obsolete gippo a scullion

Gypsy

/ˈdʒɪpsɪ/
noun (sometimes not capital) (pl) -sies
1.
  1. a member of a people scattered throughout Europe and North America, who maintain a nomadic way of life in industrialized societies. They migrated from NW India from about the 9th century onwards
  2. (as modifier): a Gypsy fortune-teller
2.
the language of the Gypsies; Romany
3.
a person who looks or behaves like a Gypsy
Derived Forms
Gypsydom, Gipsydom, noun
Gypsyhood, Gipsyhood, noun
Gypsyish, Gipsyish, adjective
Gypsy-like, Gipsy-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Egyptian, since they were thought to have come originally from Egypt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gypsies

gyp

v.

"to cheat, swindle," 1889, American English, probably derived from the colloquial shortening of Gypsy (cf. gip). Related: Gypped. As a noun, "fraudulent action, a cheat," by 1914.

Gypsy

also gipsy, c.1600, alteration of gypcian, a worn-down Middle English dialectal form of egypcien "Egyptian," from the supposed origin of these people. As an adjective, from 1620s.

Cognate with Spanish Gitano and close in sense to Turkish and Arabic Kipti "gypsy," literally "Coptic;" but in Middle French they were Bohémien (see bohemian), and in Spanish also Flamenco "from Flanders." "The gipsies seem doomed to be associated with countries with which they have nothing to do" [Weekley]. Zingari, the Italian and German name, is of unknown origin. Romany is from the people's own language, a plural adjective form of rom "man." Gipsy is the prefered spelling in England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gypsies in Culture

Gypsies definition


A nomadic people who originated in the region between India and Iran and who migrated to Europe in the fourteenth or fifteenth century. Most now live in Europe and the United States. Their language is called Romany. Thousands were murdered in the holocaust.

Note: One who lives a footloose, carefree life is sometimes called a gypsy.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for gypsies

gyp

modifier

: a gyp joint/ gyp terms

noun
  1. (also gyp artist or gypster) A swindler; cheater; crook: denunciations of punks, tinhorns, and gyps (1889+)
  2. : the victim of any such gyp (1914+)
  3. A cabdriver who does not start the meter, hence can pocket the fare (1930+ Cabdrivers)
verb

To cheat; swindle; con: We got gypped out of it all in two days

[fr gypsy]


gypsy

noun
  1. gypsy cab (1940s+)
  2. A truck driven by its owner rather than a union driver (1942+ Truckers)
verb

To make a risky bet or call: You will find players consistently gypsying, flat-calling with kings up or less (1940s+ Gambling); (1950s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
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